Naula: A New Fertility Treatment Tracker App

Note:  This is NOT a sponsored post. I was NOT compensated for this post and I purchased Naula with my own money. I just really believe this app will be helpful to many readers and wanted to share it with you. This post does contain iTunes affiliate links, which means that I make a few pennies if you purchase this app after clicking on one of my links. You can see my full disclosure here.

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When I was getting ready to do my IVF cycles in 2014 and 2015, one of the first things I did was search for an IVF app for my phone. I loved using Fertility Friend while trying to conceive naturally, but it didn’t work for me when I transitioned to treatments. I remember feeling so frustrated that I couldn’t find anything to help me track my IVF cycle.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing Facebook and I saw a post about Naula, a new IVF tracker app! (It can also track IUIs, egg donation, egg freezing, surrogacy, and FET cycles). I was intrigued by the screenshots in the iTunes store, so I sent an email through Naula’s website and received a lovely response from the creator, Paula, the next day. She was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes on the phone and tell me more!

Paula created Naula because just like me, she was frustrated when she couldn’t find an app during her own IVF treatments. She wanted to create something that would let fertility patients keep track of their medications and appointments all in one spot.

Here’s How It Works

First, you add your treatment dates and details. Naula has pre-set options for the most common medications and appointment types, but you can also add your own. You can also add appointment locations and phone numbers, too. It’s okay if you don’t know all your appointment dates and medications at the start of your cycle. You can add them as you go, and you can always go back and make changes.

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The beauty of the app is that each day it generates a calendar of all your appointments, tests, and medications. It lists them in the order you need to do them and will give you reminders if you want. So you can just check them off throughout the day and not worry about forgetting or getting confused.

It also has videos and instructions on how to administer medications. This is very helpful, especially at the beginning of the cycle when you’re still getting used to it.

Check out the video for more details!

My Thoughts

Since I’m not currently going through a treatment cycle, I haven’t been able to put the app to a true test. But I’ve been playing with it for awhile, and I like what I see.

No app is perfect, of course. I wish Naula had the ability to record blood test results and egg retrieval results. I guess it could be recorded in the “notes” section for those appointments, but it would be nice to have a specific place for those. Also, I think it would be really useful if Naula would let you record past treatments. I really wanted to enter my details from my previous cycles, but it wouldn’t let me create start dates more than a few weeks ago. (It will, however, keep your entries from treatments after you have finished that cycle).

Overall, I think Naula is a HUGE step forward for iPhone / iPad users who want to keep track of their fertility treatments. (Sorry, Android users, it’s only available on iOS). I’m definitely planning on using it when we do a FET cycle later this year, and will probably do an update on how the app performs for me then.

Naula has been selling for $19.99, but it’s currently on-sale for $5.99. If fertility treatments are in your future, I think it would be well worth your money to buy it now!

What do you think of an app like this? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Title image courtesy of UnSplash

5 Mistakes to Avoid During IVF

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

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I often get emails and messages from women asking me for tips on IVF. After going through three IVF cycles, I consider myself an IVF pro. I was recently reflecting on some of the IVF mistakes I made, especially during my first cycle. I thought it would be helpful if I compiled them here so you won’t make the same ones!

Over-extending yourself

One of the most challenging parts of IVF for me was the scheduling. All the trips to the lab for blood tests and the doctor’s office for monitoring really add up. Add a couple trips to the pharmacy for extra meds (or Fed Ex for pick-ups), and you’ve added several hours to your week, or even your day!

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Things can get even more crazy if you want to go to acupuncture, a support group, or counseling. A lot of your appointments may be last-minute, and it will be hard to schedule them in advance. Plus, giving yourself all your injections and medications can take awhile until you get the hang of it. So do yourself a favor and clear your schedule of all non-essential commitments before you start your cycle.

Forgetting to rest

IVF makes you tired. I’ve battled fatigue during both my fresh cycles and my frozen cycle. In addition to reducing your commitments, you’ll want to intentionally find ways to help yourself rest and relax. Have a nice dinner with your spouse, watch a fun movie, or do something enjoyable and low-key.

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Spending too much time on Google

I love the internet and I hate the internet. The amount of information available to us is both incredible and maddening. It’s so easy to compare your cycle’s progress and your body’s symptoms to everyone else’s. But comparisons are useless. Resist the temptation to predict or diagnose via Google.  If you have a question that you really need answered, talk to your doctor instead.

Being unorganized

Keeping track of your medications and their dosages is vital for IVF success. You don’t want the added stress of running out of medication and trying to get refills on short notice. I highly recommend you make an inventory of all your medications and supplies. Try to update it at least every other day so you can get your refills stress-free.

After you’ve made your inventory, you need to make sure you don’t forget to take the doses at the correct times. Many clinics will give their patients detailed schedules. If your clinic doesn’t automatically give you one, don’t feel bad about asking them to create one for you. You are paying them a lot of money, and they should be more than happy to give you detailed instructions about the timing of your meds.

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Once you have your schedule, write them all down on a calendar and set a timer on your phone. You can also use an app like Naula to organize everything.

Not documenting your journey

You might not think that you’ll want to remember your IVF experience, but I think it’s important to document it somehow. You don’t have to go as far as starting your own blog or Instagram account; you can journal (I’ve heard that The IVF Journal by Stephanie Fry is great), type up your notes, take photos, or make a collage.

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Whatever you do, it has the potential to be a creative outlet and it may come in handy as a reference if you do future cycles. The most compelling reason, however, is that if you have a successful pregnancy you’ll be able to show it to your child one day.

Want more tips surviving IVF?  Check out my mini-course, Preparing for IVF: Approaching Your IVF With Confidence and Courage.  

 

 

 

All photos are courtesy of UnSplash, used under Creative Commons Zero License.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

This post contains affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure here.

 

 

Infertility bloggers share a lot of private things about ourselves.  I’ve told you about my menstrual cycles, my marriage, my faith, and our three IVF cycles.  With all those serious topics, things can get a little somber around here sometimes.  So each year for the past two years, I’ve published a post sharing some random facts about myself.  It’s fun for me to write and I hope it’s fun for you to read.  (Be sure to read the 2016 and 2015 posts if you weren’t reading my blog back then!)

 

1.  I don’t drink coffee.  I love the smell of coffee brewing, but I cannot stand the taste.  I get my caffeine fix from tea.  I usually have a cup of hot tea in the morning, in the afternoon, and a cup of decaf or herbal tea at night.  One of my all-time favorites is Tazo Apricot Vanilla Creme (my grocery store doesn’t alway carry them, so I buy ALL.THE.BOXES when they’re on sale), but lately I’ve been enjoying Heath and Heather Green Tea with Coconut (I discovered it at Marshall’s).

 

 

2.  My favorite color is purple.  I keep my clothing color choices pretty neutral and basic, but I will ALWAYS buy purple if that’s an option.  My wedding color was purple, and I bought a purple bedspread when Tom and I first got married (much to his dismay)!

 

 

3.  My latest guilty pleasure is Velvet.  No, not the cloth.  In my last “10 Things” update, I wrote about how I was watching Gran Hotel, a Spanish drama, on Netflix.  Well, I finished the series literally HOURS before they pulled it off Netflix, but now I’m obsessed with another Spanish series: Velvet! If you like beautiful costuming, cheesy-yet-addicting storylines, and beautiful Spaniards, this is the show for you!
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 4.  I don’t like scary movies.  There are two reasons why I just can’t watch.  First of all, I’ll think about them for weeks afterwards and lose sleep over it.  Second, I can’t stand “jump scenes.”  You know, where something jumps out suddenly and makes you leap out of your seat.  If I even suspect that’s going to happen, I cover my ears so I can’t hear it.  In college, my roommates and I went to see the re-release of The Exorcist.  (We thought that since it was from the 70s it would be more funny than scary.  We were wrong.  We walked out of the theatre before it was over and spent the entire car ride home singing Jesus Loves Me).  Since then, I haven’t been able to see any scary movies because I end up thinking about them for days afterwards and scaring myself at night.

 

5.  I rarely read fiction.  I used to be a librarian, so this is like my dirty little secret.  I read a ton of fiction when I was a kid, but as I got older, I started to prefer biographies, history, and memoirs instead.  I read maybe one or two fiction books a year, and it’s usually a young adult fiction book.  And no, I haven’t read Harry Potter.  I think the last fiction book I read was Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

 6.  I broke my brother’s arm.  When I was 6 years old, my 2 year- old brother and I were sitting and playing in a large laundry basket.  Our dad wasn’t home and our mom was in the shower.  I tried to get out of the basket and somehow ended up flipping it over with my brother still in it.  I still remember his screams as I ran to tell my mom.  The poor guy spent a few weeks in a cast.  He’s 31 years old now and loves to tease me about it!

 

7.  My least favorite chore is cleaning the shower.  Ugh.  We have one of those showers with a plastic, textured floor.  No matter how hard or how often I scrub, it never gets clean.  Also, our bathroom doesn’t have a window and the exhaust fan doesn’t work well, so mildew grows very fast.  We’re blessed to have a lady who comes to clean the bathrooms every other week, and things get pretty bad when she goes on vacation or gets sick!

 

8.  I’m a HSP (highly sensitive person).  Yes, this is a thing.  People with this personality trait process are more sensitive to stimuli and process things a little differently.  There’s a great book and website about it.

 9.  My favorite non-fertility blog is Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I love the mix of fun and informative articles on Anne Bogel’s blog.  She’s a voracious reader and I’m really impressed by her reviews and reading lists.

 

 

10.  I can’t drive a stick shift (or parallel park to save my life).  A friend tried to teach me how to drive a stick in high school and it was a disaster.  I haven’t tried since.  My parallel parking skills improved out of necessity while I lived in Los Angeles during college, but now that I’ve been back in suburbia I will park farther away to avoid having to parallel park.  My husband, on the other hand, can practically parallel park with his eyes closed!

 

What about you?  I’d love to hear some random facts about you!  Feel free to comment below.